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Sojourners Magazine: February 2013

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OVER OUR FOUR-decade-plus history, Sojourners has been involved in many faithful movements for peace. From the Vietnam War to Afghanistan, and from the Cold War arms race to ongoing nuclear proliferation, we have worked for a time when the world “studies war no more.” Through the years leaders of those peace movements have come primarily from the Catholic and mainline Protestant traditions, but in this issue’s cover package we’re happy to tell the story of a specifically evangelical peacemaking witness, marked in part by a conference at Georgetown University last fall under the rubric Evangelicals for Peace.

Peacemaking takes many forms, so this month we bring you updates from ground-level peace advocates around the planet. “Bullet-Proof Gospel” is a profile of James Byensi, a pastor in eastern Congo helping his community stand up against the cycle of violence in that war-torn region; “Nonviolence and the Drug War” looks at the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity and other groups speaking out against the violence of Mexico’s militarized drug war. In our commentary section, Myla Leguro reports from the ground on the many grassroots peace groups who, along with the Nonviolent Peaceforce, have helped win a historic ceasefire in the long-running conflict in Mindanao, Philippines; Aimee Kang tells us about the activists worldwide who, as part of an event called One Billion Rising this Feb. 14, speak against violence against women.

Also this month, we’re pleased to welcome to our pages recent Sojourners interns Anne Marie Roderick and Joshua Witchger, reflecting on the holy power of bread-making and foot-washing, and on how liturgy “scoops us up locally and globally, backward and forward.” Whatever our form of worship, from liturgy to a praise band, may we all know God’s peace—and find ways to seek peace on earth.

Cover Story

Evangelicals are gearing up to be makers of peace. Are they ready for the serious responsibilities that entails?

Feature

Death threats haven't stopped Rev. James Byensi, a Congolese pastor, from seeking peace in his homeland.
The U.S. and Mexican governments have tried to battle drug violence with more violence. It hasn't worked. Gandhian groups in Mexico offer another way.
Many young adults are leaving the church these days. Two 20-somethings reflect on what keeps them in the pews.

Commentary

Feb. 14 "One Billion Rising" events aim to end violence against women.
Want to learn how fracking affects groundwater? Good luck with that.
Nonviolent Peaceforce and other civilian groups are playing a key role in monitoring the new peace accord in the Philippines.

Columns

The stories we tell today are simply the next chapter in an overarching narrative of hope, justice, and pluralism.
Let the healing begin (maybe next week).
Wherever I go in the world, I want to be quick to listen to differing perspectives and slow to pick sides.
There are more gun dealers in America than McDonald's restaurants.
The Beloved Community is not a utopian ideal.

Culture Watch

"Unto Us the Sun" by Aimee Wilson, Self-released
"Sacred Acts: How Churches are Working to Protect Earth's Climate," New Society
"ReFocus: Living a Life that Reflects God's Heart," and "Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious"
The "hope and dreams" in Springsteen's song are those of the immigrant, the refugee, and the runaway slave.
Four February 2013 culture recommendations from our editors
Here's my list of the best films released in 2012.
For Life of Pi screenwriter David Magee, stories help light the way through chaos and despair.

Departments

Letter to the Editors
Letter to the Editors
Letter to the Editors
Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle C

Web Extra

Take heart! A new generation of evangelicals for peace is on the rise.
Moriel Rothman speaks candidly about his decision to not serve in the Israel Defense Forces.
Some messages are worth retelling.
"Justice too long delayed is justice denied."